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Allisa Cherry


Desert Rain by Edgar Alwin Payne


It is because of my brother,
who will never be twenty,
I comb the land around Lyman Lake
seeking in its rough folds
that fracture where he gave this life
the slip. As if it might be marked
by a Utah juniper, its trunk
slowly twisting in a high desert wind,
its dusty blue berries
a door code I will punch
and finally enter a room
where it is always the moment
before his head splits upon stone.
Where the stars keep spinning
toward daybreak and the pickup
still teeters at the end of its long roll.
But it is hidden from me

by a nimbus of sage,
by threadleaf groundsel
popping off its yellow sass,
and snakeweed hiding the sinister truth
that he was not made to outlast me.
Someday soon, the lupine will rise
like blue spears from the dust.
The globemallow will bloom
to be devoured by ants.
And I will see his death
happened everywhere at once,
so the earth raised a thousand descansos
that said here and here and here.


About the writer:
Allisa Cherry has recently received an MFA from Pacific University and completed a manuscript that explores the way faith, like landscape, is reshaped through violence. Her work has received Pushcart and Best of the Net nominations and can be found in Westchester Review, and at EcoTheo and SWWIM Daily.

Image: Desert Rain by Edgar Alwin Payne (1883-1947). no medium specified. No size specified. By 1947. Public domain.

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